DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eleven, Day One

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Theme of Week Eleven: Our God is Mighty

Week Eleven, Day One

 

“The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah” Psalm 46:7 (HCSB)

 

Despite being dear to our hearts, people who we trust can see the difficulties we are experiencing and encourage us to turn back from where God has called us. Much like the story of Lot and his wife (Genesis 19:15-26), we are called to obey the LORD; no matter how many others choose to ignore His leading. People in our own spheres of influence can try to persuade us to reject God’s call and return to comfort and familiarity. Yet, if the LORD has called us to walk this path (e.g. being am “married-single parent” of tired and hurting children while daddy is deployed, battling through another moving season with attitudes flaring amidst the chaos, etc.) it’s not a matter of appeasing those we admire-but rather taking our difficult situations to the Lord in prayer; for He is the God of Jacob Who is our stronghold.

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord Jesus, You are good and Your faithfulness endures to all generations (Psalm 100:5). Thank You for being my refuge. Thank You for giving me the strength to keep going when all others share their own worries and discouragements with me. Hold me fast to the course You have called me to, Lord Jesus. For Your honor and for Your great name’s sake, keep me faithful to Your teaching and leading (Psalm 119:9-16). Thank You for Your divine protection and victory over the attacks and divisive words coming night and day from multiple directions (Psalm 91:13-16). I cling to the promise of Psalm 46:7 that You alone are my refuge and stronghold. You are my God in Whom I place my trust (Psalm 91:2). In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Ten, Day Two

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Ten, Day Two

 

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.” Psalm 138:7 (NASB)

 

Depression, disease and doubt can all be conquered by the awesome and powerful name of Jesus. It is one thing to ask for our brothers and sisters in the faith to lift us up in pray, but it is a completely different thing to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and fight against the evil powers of darkness ourselves. A follower of Jesus Christ is not to solely rely on the prayers of others to bring victory in the lives of those we love. It is up to us to take our place on the spiritual front lines and grasp tightly to the weapons given to us by the Holy Spirit of God. Through the power of Jesus Christ, we will see victory over each malefactor in this life—in the LORD’s perfect timing and way. The Bible commands us to continually “pray in the Spirit” to know what is right and what to do. Our great Commander and Chief is faithful to instruct us in battle and will give us victory from our enemies. May we call upon the LORD anew today, for His revival and rescue, as we fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

 

Prayer For Today:

LORD Jesus, Commander of Heaven’s Armies, victory over suffering is found in You alone! Thank You for fighting on my behalf. Thank You for carrying the concerns of (name)_________ in this time. Scriptures assure us that we do not war against flesh and blood, but against evil spirits and dark powers (Ephesians 6:12). Yet, the Scriptures also assure us that nothing can separate us from Your love (Romans 8:31-39)! LORD Jesus You are have authority and dominion over the physical and spiritual realms. Thank You for assured victory over the afflictions in (name’s)__________ life. I humbly ask for Your divine protection over each one involved. I trust in Your name alone, Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Nine, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Nine, Day Five

 

“Why do you spend money on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and you will enjoy the choicest of foods. Pay attention and come to Me; listen, so that you will live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the promises assured to David.” Isaiah 55:2-3 (HCSB)

 

Oh what rich promises we can put our lives on the line for! Regardless of our pleasures in this world, they will never satisfy the inner longer for peace and communion with God. The LORD reminds us in these verses that as long as we will spend our money on things in order to seek contentment or pleasure, be them electronics related, athletic oriented gear, exotic food and wine, home improvements, career advancements, lustful relationships, vacations, etc., we will continually be disappointed as we realize that satisfaction from such things does not last. Why? Because, just as the LORD says, we are to come to Him, in order that we may experience the beauty, the richness and true satisfaction that comes from walking in union with our LORD Jesus Christ. There is no vice that can take away our need for the LORD. As your situation persists, continue to run to the LORD for covering and guidance. We are assured that He will lead and guide us to peaceful ends and deliver us from our enemies, in His perfect time (Psalm 23).

 

Prayer For Today:

Gracious Heavenly Father, You are good. Your blessings abound in my life. Thank You for ____________. Thank You for the relationship I have with (name)__________. Please use this time to further refine each of us as we learn to need You more each day. Your Words are true and I thank You for them. Help me to recall them in times of want and anxiety. Please grant me Your wisdom and guidance in this time. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Four

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Four

 

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (HCSB)

 

 

As a believer in Jesus Christ, when hard situations turn into unbearable ones, a tendency to feel helpless or out of complete control can overwhelm us. This scripture, found in James 1:5, so beautifully reminds us that in times of confusion, we can still run to the Lord for guidance and instruction. God lavishes grace (2 Corinthians 12:9), refreshment (Psalm 119:156) and the ability to maintain His course to all who ask for His divine intervention (Hebrews 12:1-3). When we come to the end of ourselves as humans, we really are at a beautiful place; the beginning. It is in that moment, when we cannot conjure up a single word or alternate plan to end the pain and suffering that we depend fully upon the providence of Almighty God. Allowing the fatigue and pain to be used to as a blessing rather than a burden. Allow them both to push you towards the Lord and ask for His wisdom as you remain in the current heartache. Keep in mind, God cares for you and your well being more than anyone else on this planet. Thus, ask the Lord for divine eyes to know how best to honor Him in this season.

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear Lord, I am asking for Your wisdom. Your Word says that You give generously (James 1:5) to all who ask and do not find fault in their asking. I am that person today, Lord. I am at the end of myself regarding what to do here. I do not know what to do in regards to (name)__________. All I see is confusion and layer upon layer of problem. Please grant wisdom to all involved. I don’t know what to pray, so I will believe Your Holy Bible that I am to ask for Your wisdom in such times. Thank You for answering me in Your perfect timing. I thank You for walking this difficult time with me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Seven and review

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Seven:

 

15Then I said, ‘Who are You, Lord? ’ “And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting. 16But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and of what I will reveal to you. 17I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles. I now send you to them 18to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified.’” Acts 26:15-18 (HCSB)

As trauma hits our lives, our view towards certain individuals or even whole people groups can become jaded. This was the interaction between Paul and Jesus Christ, as Paul was traveling near Damascus—ready to kill and persecute more followers of Jesus Christ. How beautiful and redeeming is the grace of Jesus. Paul had become jaded towards all who followed Jesus—as Paul did not yet know Jesus as the Messiah. Much like Paul, war, death and deceptive actions can all become fuel to a growing attitude of sin within our own hearts towards others. As believers in Jesus Christ, may we repent of such feelings, and ask the Lord to wash our eyes so that we may see all people through His grace and mercy once again. Praise God that such gifts were extended to our own lives—or we too would have no hope and no option for redemption. May we ask the Lord how He would choose to use us to forward His kingdom to help win such people for the name of Jesus Christ.

Prayer For Today:

LORD, I feel very convicted over some deep routed thoughts I have buried deep within my heart. Please forgive me of them now. Help me to bring honor to You through not only my words, but also through my thoughts. Thank You again for Your grace and mercy within my own life. Use me to minster to (name)___________ for Your glory. Help (name)__________ to come to realize that You are the God of love and forgiveness. Thank You that my own life is a testimony of Your radical redeeming power. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

**Week Seven in review. Which verse did the Lord use this week to really speak to you in your current situation? In what way do you feel God asking you to trust Him more? As we thank the Lord for walking with us for seven weeks amidst this season of need, may we also take the time to declare to the Lord anew our devotion to His plans and purposes for He alone is good.

**Optional Service Project: At church this week, find some extra money (the amount does not matter) to go towards the furthering of missions through the church. By helping others that are speaking to other nations about Jesus, the Lord will bless you as you allow God to use you as a vehicle to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Six

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Six:

 

“8For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (HCSB)

Punishment is what each and every heart deserves due to our moral and spiritual conduct. But, praise be to God above, that all who trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior does not get what we deserve. Jesus Christ stepped down into His own creation to ransom humanity from the punishment we each merited (John 6:40). Jesus Christ did this by taking our flaws and blemishes upon His spotless life as He died on a cross and rose from the dead in victory on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4). As we recognize and acknowledge our utter dependency upon our Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, we are able to extend grace and mercy to others who have caused harm against us. Ephesians 2:10 states that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, were created to do good works for the glory of God. He has prepared these tasks for us and it is our great honor to fulfill God’s calling for our lives so that we may be used by God to help testify to others of the salvation that is freely available to each heart, from every culture, every language and every country (John 3:16).

Prayer For Today:

Lord, I want to bring you honor in each season of my life. I want to do Your will and follow You in faithfulness. Give me the grace to accomplish the tasks that You have placed before me. Help me to use kind words when interacting with (name)____________. I want to represent You well. Give me a heart that is filled with Your grace and Your mercy. Thank You for extending this same mercy and grace to my life. I am lost without You and thank You for Your daily guidance in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Five:

 

9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10for the administration of the days of fulfillment — to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.” Ephesians 1:9-10 (HCSB)

 

The Apostle Paul had seen first hand, on a road near Damascus, that God’s plan of salvation was indeed through Jesus Christ the Messiah. Although He had murdered and imprisoned many followers of Jesus, the Way, Paul was shown divine grace as Jesus audibly spoke to Him and used Paul as an example of a radically changed life. The same man who had breathed murderous threats to those who followed Jesus, was now the very man being used by God to proclaim that Jesus was in fact the Messiah to those both near and far (Acts 9:1-31). The fact that God would choose to continue to extend undeserved grace and unmerited mercy to each and every one of us, is indeed, a mystery of our loving God (Ephesians 1:9-10). May we make the conscious choice to love God fully and submit our worries, our doubts and our prejudices to the feet of Jesus (Ephesians 1:22-23). Each and every hardship and difficult circumstance can in fact be radically changed due to the transformative power of Jesus Christ. Paul, who was once a murderer, was now the very man leading the charge to further the message that Jesus Christ was Messiah. God truly can make all things new (Isaiah 43:19).

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear LORD, thank You for the encouragement found in Your Word, the Holy Bible. Help me to look afresh at the situations around me that seem too difficult for You to fix. Help me to counsel my heart with Biblical accounts, like this one, that show You can do the impossible time and time again. Help me to show (name)_____________ the mysterious gift of love and merciful grace that is found through Jesus Christ alone—regardless of the details in our stories. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Three:

 

“Lord, there is no one like You among the gods, and there are no works like Yours.” Psalm 86:8 (HCSB)

 

How incredible to ponder that time itself was an invention. Sound, light, fire and love were also created elements from an Infinite Mind. Yahweh, the LORD, taught the lion to roar, the sun to set and the eagle to soar. All authority was given to Jesus Christ over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). Thus, it is our great honor to proclaim His salvation for every heart. No matter if their origins of birth are Tel Aviv or Togo, Paris or Pakistan, California or Kirgizstan—we are called to proclaim God’s supremacy around the globe for the hope of winning hearts and minds for Jesus Christ. In the middle of the conflict, in the center of the struggle, I encourage you today to not loose sight of this larger picture. Prayerfully ask the Lord to reveal to you whom He would choose for you to declare His goodness to in the midst of trying circumstances.

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear Jesus, help me to be a bold witness for Your redemptive work on the cross and resurrection from the grave—even now. Help (name)________ to experience the freedom that is found in You alone. Help me to pray for (name)_________ in this time. Please speak to (name)__________ through visions, verses in Your Holy Word and dreams. Make Yourself so evident that You cannot be ignored or denied. Please use me and my story to further Your message of hope and grace to the people around the world both here in my city as well as where You may choose to send me in the future. In Your name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Six, Day Four

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Six, Day Four:

 

“Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Proverbs 11:14 (HCSB)

 

Whether in a season of chaos or not, we were created for community. Thus, if we are not making time for others to enter into the messiness of a given season, there is a great loss experienced by both parties. You will experience a loss due to not sharing life with others who can walk with you during a difficult time and encourage you to press into the Lord. On the other hand, the other individual misses out on your insights and companionship during the same chaotic season. Do not believe the lie that you must “have it all together” before reaching out to others. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Proverbs 11:14 assures us that there is deliverance through godly guidance. Without the guidance of God fearing individuals, deliverance and freedom from the circumstances that entrap us will not be experienced. If you are not already, allow this to be your encouragement to reach out to a Bible teaching church and plug into the women’s ministry, grief and support group and/or weekly Bible study. Remember, we are called to community (Acts 2:42)! The Bible assures us that the devil roams through the earth, like a hungry lion seeking to devour those who can be easily persuaded (1 Peter 5:8-9). Do not allow those who do not love the Lord to guide you in the midst of grief (Luke 6:39)—for their wisdom is not based in the Lord. Plug into a group of followers of Jesus Christ and allow them to walk with you during this season.

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord, please help me. I do not know what details to share and to whom. Help me to find a Bible teaching church that has a women’s ministry I can get quickly plugged into. I need the fellowship. I need the community. I need counsel from other God fearing believers. Please help (name)_______ in the midst of this horribly stressful time. Please work out all of the loose ends. Please grant peace to (name)__________ heart when I don’t know what answers are correct for our situation. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Please help me to honor You by seeking godly counsel.

The Squirrels and Birds of life: Some Take A Little More

In the midst of cabin fever, social isolation and unpredictable timelines of global reopening…may we HOPE FAST TO THE STEADY AND UNCHANGING WORD OF GOD!

The Squirrels and Birds of life: Some Take a little more

Have you ever been ticked off about something that you know really isn’t a big deal? I mean, it’s really gotten under your skin, but to even acknowledge it out loud would show just how ridiculous it really is…well, you’re not alone! Allow me to share my ridiculousness! Hahah!

 

While playing in the backyard with our children one day, the bird feeder that my husband had filled the night before was being burglarized by two fury tailed thieves! Yes, they were grey and cute, but the point was, they were taking the birdseed of the gorgeous red cardinals! I grew up in California and did not see cardinals—ever. So, when I would gasp out loud and call my husband to the window to see them in one of our first moves to the southern parts of America, he would just chuckle under his breath each time he would hurry to see the familiar southern sight. He had grown up in the deep south of America and cardinals were a very common sight there—like doves, pheasants and magpies in Northern California. But for me, it was something truly special to see such bright red plumage contrasted by a mighty oak. Anyway…back to the bird feeder! 

 

While getting very ticked off that these squirrels were taking the food of the cardinals in our tree, the Lord taught me a lesson about the people in my life and the need to “share the seed”. Allow me to explain.

 

Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated at the squirrels for repeatedly taking the birdseed from the feeder and not leaving much of any for the colorful birds. Yet, may we remember, there is enough for all. And there will be people in our lives (like squirrels) who require a “little bit more” from us—more time, more effort and more energy than say…the “birds” in our lives.

 

Yet, rather than getting frustrated with those who need more attention, more instruction and take more “seed” of encouragement and resources than the average seed consumer…pray for God to open your eyes to see things as He does (Ephesians 3:16).

 

Jesus told a parable about how each bird of the field is taken care of by God and they do not store up for themselves what is needed for tomorrow—rather, they trust in God to provide for their needs each day. Not a single bird falls from the sky without the careful notice of the Lord. Jesus then added that if God takes such detailed care of the birds, how much MORE does He take care of our needs? (Matthew 10:29-31).

 

We will all experience times of “needing a little extra” in our lives—more time, more encouragement, more guidance…you get the point. But the reality is, regardless of the season we are in, God will supply our needs over and above our expectations.

 

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB)

 

When you don’t know how you will have the strength to do another sleepless night with your little one, or another heavy flu season, or another long series of “but why?” questions…may you be encouraged to DIG DEEP into the promises of God.

 

Before we come to a close, may I encourage you to whip out a good old fashion piece of paper and a trusty pen…and actually look up these following verses. If you do not have a Bible, no sweat. I love and highly recommend Biblehub.com as a fantastic online resource that is great for quick access to multiple Bible translations, commentaries and even Hebrew and Greek! So, with that said, allow us to actually pause (contrary to the pace of our modern culture) and actually STEEP OUR MINDS in the beautiful truths of God’s Word regarding those moments when you just need a serious reminder that you are not in this alone:

 

  • Deuteronomy 31:6_________________________________________________________________

 

  • Deuteronomy 31:8_________________________________________________________________

 

  • Isaiah 41:10_________________________________________________________________________

 

  • Isaiah 43:2___________________________________________________________________________

 

  • Isaiah 52:12_________________________________________________________________________

 

I am convinced that parenthood was created to bring us to the end of ourselves—in order to realize, that in our great love for our children, we MUST reach out to the Lord for daily guidance, moment by moment instruction and wisdom that only can be supplied by the Almighty God who loves us with an unyielding zeal—and whose compassion, mercy and grace are endless (Hebrews 4:16). Be encouraged that you are not on this journey called motherhood alone—I’m also asking the Lord Jesus Christ for daily guidance! And if I could give a praise to wrap this up, He is faithful to address each and every one of my husband and I’s questions, concerns and need for guidance both in parenting as well as within married life—because the Lord Jesus is just THAT good (Nahum 1:7).

 

If you do not already believe on the perfect life, innocent death and resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ to have eternal right standing before Almighty God, this is your moment to add the greatest asset to your family life—as well as your eternal life—being the one and only Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ.

 

[a]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, [b]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [c]resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)

Blooming Beauty

Have you ever been ticked off about something that you know really isn’t a big deal? I mean, it’s really gotten under your skin, but to even acknowledge it out loud would show just how ridiculous it really is…well, you’re not alone! Allow me to share my ridiculousness! Hahah!

While playing in the backyard with our children one day, the bird feeder that my husband had filled the night before was being burglarized by two fury tailed thieves! Yes, they were grey and cute, but the point was, they were taking the birdseed of the gorgeous red cardinals! I grew up in California and did not see cardinals—ever. So, when I would gasp out loud and call my husband to the window to see them in one of our first moves to the southern parts of America, he would just chuckle under his breath each time he would hurry to…

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